Sarah Babbage

Sarah Babbage is a TAP Fall 2010 intern.

Recent Articles

The Military-Sexual Complex.

Anecdotal evidence suggests sexual assault rates in the military are high, with as many as one in three women being sexually assaulted during their service. Neither the Department of Defense nor Veterans Affairs releases data on reported cases, though, so the exact extent of the problem is unknown. Now, frustrated by rejected Freedom of Information Act requests, the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have filed a lawsuit in federal district court demanding the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs release the data and disclose what they’re doing to treat victims and prevent future abuse.

The Smart-Power Push

TAP talks to a foreign-policy expert on how the United States is using smart power.

(White House/Pete Souza)

"Smart power" -- the combination of military and diplomatic power abroad -- has become a popular buzzword in foreign-policy circles over the past decade. As David Axe chronicled in the December issue of TAP, it's a strategy the U.S. is using in Congo to curb sexual violence.

But what does the term really entail, and is it something the administration is using effectively? TAP talked to Richard Parker from the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition to find out.

How do we define smart power? Do proponents, institutions, or countries define it differently, or is there an agreed-upon definition?

Lightning Round: The Best Government is the Least Caring.

  • Citizens for the Republic has produced a
    cleverly titled ad called "Mourning in
    " that laments the sad state of affairs in the country
    under Obama. Its appeal to emotion is a little too much
    for conservatives, though. Daniel Larison
    that its promise that a Republican government would be
    "smaller and more caring" is misleading, because good governments, in
    his world, should never care about their citizens.

Lightning Round: "Getting By" By the Swimming Pool.

  • To those with incomes above $250,000 who claim they can't afford a tax hike because they are "just getting by," Annie Lowrey offers a rebuttal: you may not feel rich, but you probably have the fixed costs of a wealthy person. Plus, the higher tax rate only applies to income beyond the $250,000 threshold, so if you make $250 001, you will only be paying three cents more in income tax. If only we could only all "get by" so well.

Lightning Round: Prejudice is Expensive.

  • Matt Yglesias wades into the ongoing Martin Peretz imbroglio, criticizing plans by Harvard to honor the controversial New Republic editor despite his recent comments on the "cheapness" of Muslim life. According to Yglesias, Harvard is only going ahead with the honoring because it wants the more than half million dollars that has already been raised to create a research fund in Peretz's name. Apparently, prejudice doesn't come cheap.